Sunday, May 26, 2024

Superintendent to let student walk at high school graduation after receiving massive backlash


A North Carolina student with an impressive 3.8 GPA faced a disappointing setback when he was initially denied the opportunity to walk at Orange County High School’s graduation in June. However, after his family’s outcry over the decision gained widespread attention, 18-year-old Jaylan Sorrells has now been granted the chance to participate in the ceremony.

18-year-old Jaylan Sorrells
18-year-old Jaylan Sorrells

Jaylan is a student at Partnership Academy, an innovative school in Hillsborough that collaborates with families and the community to support students in reaching their academic goals. Despite splitting his time between Partnership Academy and Orange High School for the past four years, attending classes, sports, and extracurricular activities at both institutions, Jaylan’s determination and hard work have finally paid off.

Orange High School Superintendent Dr. Danielle Jones denied Jaylan to walk at June 7 graduation

Jaylan’s family was absolutely livid after receiving an email from Orange County Schools Superintendent Dr. Danielle Jones, denying their son the chance to walk at graduation alongside his brother, buddies, and teammates he’s been grinding with at Orange High School.

The district refused to allow Jaylan to participate in the graduation ceremony because he was a student at Partnership Academy.

In a fiery email to the school district, Ellen Sorrells, Jaylan’s mom, made it crystal clear that her son aced 10 classes at Orange High School, maintaining a stellar 95.3 grade average throughout. She proudly pointed out his four-year stint on the school’s football squad, where he racked up numerous accolades. Ellen also highlighted Jaylan’s three-year commitment to the school’s track team, where he also snagged some well-deserved awards.

“He just got an offer to play football and attend Mars Hill University; he just had his signing day at Orange High School,” Ellen Sorrells said in a copy of the email she posted on Facebook.

Ellen shared that her family made the choice to enroll Jaylan at Partner Academy because of his challenges with Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and High Functioning Autism. However, these obstacles have not hindered his progress in any way.
18-year-old Jaylan Sorrells
18-year-old Jaylan Sorrells

“Jaylan and his family want him to take the stage with other graduates at Orange High School on June 7. More than 800 people have signed a petition in support of him, and a rally was planned for Thursday morning at the Hillsborough school district office,” Sorrells said.

Ellen mentioned that they weren’t after a piece of paper from either school, but she did hope that her son would receive acknowledgment for his accomplishments alongside his teammates and brother at Orange High School.

‘Top Athlete’

Jaylan Sorrells is a standout athlete who has been tearing up the track for three years now, racking up awards and recently earning the prestigious title of team captain. Standing tall at 6 feet and weighing in at 220 pounds, this powerhouse plays three defensive positions on the football field, making a whopping 45 tackles for Orange High’s varsity team during the 2023-2024 season. With back-to-back All Conference honors under his belt and now leading the team as captain, Jaylan is truly a force to be reckoned with on the field.

Jaylan Sorrells
Jaylan Sorrells

Orange County Superintendent will let Jaylan walk at graduation June 7

After Ellen Sorrells’ post gained widespread attention, folks from near and far flooded Orange County School District’s inbox with messages about Jaylan’s unfair treatment. Then, on Thursday, Ellen, took to social media with a screenshot of an email exchange where Superintendent Jones revealed that Principal Jason Johnson of Orange County High School had a change of heart and agreed to let Jaylan participate in the graduation ceremony.

Furthermore, Jones stated, “Jaylan will be allowed to sit with the graduates, the announcer will recognize him as a Partnership Academy High School graduate that has been an integral part of the Orange High School community.”

Ellen said in the caption of the post, “This is all we wanted for our baby!!!”


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Gerald Jackson
Gerald Jackson
Hi, my name is Gerald Jackson and I am 28-years-old. I was born and raised in Troy, Alabama. I currently reside in North Carolina. I am a Journalist, Influencer, Content Creator, and a Man of Faith! I don't shy away from the truth, always speak my mind, and before I take anything back, I'll add more to it. Follow me on my social media below to keep up with my personal life. LOL!

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